Technologist and Entrepreneur:
Surya is a leader in the technology sector with 20 years of experience working in fast-paced and global environments and a track record of delivering high growth and transformation in large organizations. Surya was the head of Modern Work & Security business group for Microsoft Middle East & Africa with end-to-end responsibility to drive the business strategy and execution across sales, marketing and operations of this multi-billion dollar business that spans 80+ countries. Prior to that, Surya was the Head of Microsoft’s Consulting and Support businesses in the Netherlands, with full P&L accountability, leading a 120+ person team.
An engineer by training, with decades of business experience, she worked at the intersection of technology and businesses – equally adept and at home in both these worlds, her unique strength is in her ability to seamlessly connect business needs to technology solutions and adapt technology to business needs. She is a recognized expert in Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and led the AI country plan for Netherlands.
Surya is the CEO and cofounder of myZenith.io, a UAE-based start-up whose mission is to help you be the best you can be. MyZenith’s vision is a world where everyone, regardless of who or where they are or what they do, have the context, skills and mindset to reach their full potential, their personal zenith.
Strategist and Advisor:
Surya was a partner at McKinsey & Company, and a leader of McKinsey’s Strategy practice and the Global Energy and Manufacturing (GEM) practice. Surya has worked with 30+ global companies, advising senior executives in the sector on topics ranging from strategy to organization and commercial excellence to digital transformation. She has been instrumental in some of the largest ($70bln) mergers and acquisitions, in defining the digital agenda for oil & gas companies, and in driving a sustainability agenda in energy sector. She co-founded the Future of Mobility practice in McKinsey in 2016, connecting the then-emerging trends of Electric Vehicles, Self-driving, Connected cars and Renewable Energy.
Surya is a global business leader, with experience in leading large organizations in different contexts – e.g. cultural transformation, hyper-growth, business discontinuity, re-organization etc. She has also worked in advisory capacity with C-level executives in crisis management, labor negotiations, merger management, setting up new org, turnarounds etc. She has broad functional experience across strategy, sales, marketing, finance, risk management and operations. This gives her a unique ability to be a strategic advisor to CEOs and boards, especially on cross-company strategic topics.
Surya has lived/worked in nine different countries across Europe, Asia, Middle-East, and Africa, and has led and managed global teams in multicultural contexts. She is particularly adept as a coach and counsellor on cross-cultural topics, and is highly valued for her advice and support during periods of personal and professional transition.
Author and Speaker:
Surya writes at the intersection of technology, work, culture and personal growth. Surya’s mission as a writer is to bring clarity and understanding of our complex world in a way that makes it accessible to more people. The intent of all her writing is to inspire positive thought and action, to help people orient and navigate our world with more confidence, empathy and grace. As a thought leader in technology and business, her insights have been quoted in publications such as The Economist, Bloomberg, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Greentech Media. Her first book, Silent Eloquence (Spotted Okapi Press, 2022) is collection of reflective essays written over 15 years. You can read the introduction and excerpts here.
Surya has been a keynote speaker and panelist in events across the globe on the topics of innovation, technology, equality, and system change. Her speaking appearances include the World AI summit in Amsterdam (6000+ attendees), Bloomberg New Energy Summit in London (5000+ attendees), Microsoft Services Summit, Dallas (5000+ attendees). She is passionate about diversity and inclusion and has represented gender equality at the Uber Europe Panel on Diversity & Inclusion and advocated for designing for disabilities at the IBC Panel in Amsterdam.
She is available for speaking engagements on the topics of “Strategic thinking for success,” “Beyond Labels: Making Diversity work” and “”Planning for Disruption 2032.” Sample recordings are available for these topics. For other related topics, please reach out via email or LinkedIn.